Princess Cruises’ Sky Princess and Enchanted Princess announces escape-room experience Phantom Bridge

July 16, 2019

Phantom Bridge
Phantom Bridge (Rendering courtesy of Princess Cruises)

The following is a press release from Princess Cruises:

Cruise guests ready to travel through time and space need to look no further than Princess Cruises newest ships – Sky Princess and Enchanted Princess – to experience Phantom Bridge, a world’s first game combining digital and physical elements for the ultimate immersive escape room.

“Phantom Bridge, our newest Discovery at SEA interactive attraction, will offer our guests the exclusive opportunity to live a real-world, gamified experience with more than 700 different outcomes for the ultimate adventure,” said Denise Saviss, Princess Cruises vice president of entertainment experience. “Partnering with Farbound to deliver this unprecedented technology and world’s first interactive Mediascape Room further solidifies our commitment to share innovative and distinctive offerings to our guests.”

On the Phantom Bridge, Princess Cruises guests will face immersive environments and show moments as they race to solve puzzles and travel to endangered time periods. The entire ship will transform and respond to guest actions, enveloping them in the story. Developed exclusively for Princess Cruises by Farbound, the leader in gamified real-life experiences, the debut of Phantom Bridge will feature the first Mediascape Room, the proprietary gaming and show-control system that runs the entire game play.

“As Princess Cruises is committed to delivering a completely different and memorable experience for its guests, we are so honored to be working with them as Farbound’s partner. This new class of entertainment offerings will strengthen and hold Princess Cruises position as the leader in the travel industry.” said Tim Rheault & Steve Trowbridge, Co-Founders of Farbound.

Phantom Bridge offers a range of activities including:

Uncover the clues to solve the mystery – projection mapping, touch screen surfaces and hidden physical elements bring the environment to life as players race to uncover new clues and solve puzzles that will transport them to the next endangered time period.

Blends the physical with the digital with immersive effects – players captain the ship and turn the physical wheel to navigate the vessel and watch as the simulation view changes. Lighting, sound and digital features disguised as physical ones are combined to create an immersive, realistic experience, every step of the way. But, players beware as they’ll never know when a new item could mysteriously appear and be the key to the next puzzle.

Families can play together! – Phantom Bridge tailors the experience to players of all ages, heights and physical abilities so parents, kids and grandparents can all play together. Plus, with so many levels, time periods and puzzles more than 700 different outcomes are possible, which means players can come back and engage in Phantom Bridge time and time again since it’s never the same adventure.

Phantom Bridge will also debut onboard the cruise line’s next ship, Enchanted Princess, summer 2020. Guests can try Phantom Bridge in the new Experience Center located on deck 18. The event lasts 23 minutes and can accommodate up to six people.

For families looking for immersive, enriching and fun experiences while traveling, Princess Cruises has partnered with Discovery Inc. to create Discovery at SEA onboard programming that brings to life destinations and fan-favorite Discovery and Animal Planet shows. Guests can choose from exclusive, family friendly shore excursions and onboard activities like Stargazing at Sea. Younger cruisers, 17 and under, will also enjoy the recently renovated Camp Discovery Youth & Teen Centers.

More details about the robust onboard features and itineraries of Sky Princess and Enchanted Princess can be found at www.princess.com.

Additional information about Princess Cruises is available through a professional travel advisor, by calling 1-800-PRINCESS (1-800-774-6237), or by visiting the company’s website at princess.com.

Royal Caribbean’s Allure of the Seas unveils massive new features

July 11, 2019

(Rendering courtesy of Royal Caribbean International)

The following is a press release from Royal Caribbean International:

Travelers can soon take in Europe’s historic destinations from a bold, new perspective on board the amplified Allure of the Seas. Royal Caribbean International has revealed the signature feats and innovative experiences coming to the renowned Oasis Class ship as part of a 58-day, $165 million transformation. Guests will be able to conquer a continent’s worth of adventures and come back for more with Allure’s upcoming lineup of new features, including the Ultimate Abyss, the tallest slide at sea; The Perfect Storm trio of waterslides, completely redesigned Adventure Ocean kids and teens spaces, the first Giovanni’s Italian Kitchen & Wine Bar, and Quantum Class original Music Hall. Reimagined as the ultimate summer vacation in Europe, Allure will open its season of 7-night Western Mediterranean cruises from homeport Barcelona, Spain on May 10, 2020.

Bold Family Favorites

Adventure Ocean (Rendering courtesy of Royal Caribbean International)

Whether the moment calls for thrills or relaxation, vacationers sailing on the amplified Allure of the Seas can test their courage or sit back at the Pool and Sports Zone neighborhood that will now tout the perfect family day out. Feature highlights include:

  • The 10-story Ultimate Abyss, the tallest slide at sea
  • The Perfect Storm trio of waterslides, Typhoon, Cyclone and Supercell
  • Splashaway Bay kids aquapark, featuring twin drench buckets, three waterslides, fountains, pools, water cannons and a Splash Pad for tots
  • Reimagined pool deck, complete with The Lime & Coconut signature bar across two locations, a wider variety of seating and shade with cabana-like “casitas,” daybeds, hammocks and swing seats; new whirlpools on the top deck, and a reinvigorated, adults-only Solarium
Adventure Ocean’s Workshop (Rendering courtesy of Royal Caribbean International)

The thrill will go from the outside-in on board the amped-up Allure. Expanding on the ways that families can spend time together and on their own are the additions of completely reimagined, dedicated spaces for babies, kids and teens, and popular Royal Caribbean activities.

  • All-new Adventure Ocean, where younger kids can choose their own immersive adventures across an entirely new layout. The major makeover will bring to life interactive, personalized and unexpected activities and features in areas redesigned from top to bottom, including whimsical rooms with climbable creations at Play Place, hands-on art, science and tech fun at Workshop; friendly competition in physical, interactive games at Arena; the Hangout, to chill and make new friends over gaming consoles or sit back for some quality “me” time, AO Babies for babies and tots, and experiential activities at the multipurpose AO Junior space specially designed for 3- to 5-year-olds
    Dedicated teens spaces (Rendering courtesy of Royal Caribbean International)

    Dedicated teens spaces (Rendering courtesy of Royal Caribbean International)
  • Maxed-out teen spaces, debuting a 360-degree transformation, with a secret speakeasy-like entrance leading into an exclusive lounge with gaming consoles, music, movies, places to hang out and a new outdoor deck
  • Glow-in-the-dark laser tag in Clash for the Crystal City and Royal Escape Room – Apollo 18: Lunar Landing, an out-of-this-world expedition that challenges guests to solve puzzle after puzzle before time runs out

A World of Flavors

Giovanni’s Italian Kitchen & Wine Bar (Rendering courtesy of Royal Caribbean International)
Giovanni’s Italian Kitchen & Wine Bar (Rendering courtesy of Royal Caribbean International)
Portside BBQ (Rendering courtesy of Royal Caribbean International)

Allure will deliver an array of culinary possibilities with more restaurants, casual spots and bars joining the already-diverse offering of specialty and complimentary options.

  • Giovanni’s Italian Kitchen & Wine Bar, a new take on a guest-favorite, will offer the beloved family-style, rustic dining experience with an enhanced menu of Italian staples, complete with hand-tossed pizza from the new in-house pizza oven, an expansive charcuterie station and a wide selection of wines and limoncellos
  • Portside BBQ will serve up a menu inspired by popular barbecue styles across the United States, including brisket, pulled pork, chicken, burnt ends, mac and cheese, homestyle cornbread and more
  • Playmakers Sports Bar & Arcade for gameday watch parties on big-screen TVs, tournaments, bar bites with a twist and ice-cold brews
  • El Loco Fresh, featuring casual Mexican “street fare”
  • Sugar Beach, the sweetest spot on board with more than 220 types of candy and ice cream
  • Bionic Bar by Makr Shakr, manned by two robot bartenders shaking up classic cocktails and custom orders
Portside BBQ (Rendering courtesy of Royal Caribbean International)

Amped-Up Hotspots

Music Hall (Rendering courtesy of Royal Caribbean International)

After a day of exploring iconic destinations and channeling their inner adventurer, guests can go out for a “night on the town” and find new venues added to the nightlife offered on board.

  • Music Hall, a Quantum Class favorite, will take live music to the next level with revolving setlists and cover bands, ample lounge seating on two levels and room to rock out on the dance floor
  • Spotlight Karaoke, the dedicated karaoke bar with both main stage and private room experiences will feature thousands of songs to choose from, music trivia and themed nights
Spotlight Karaoke  (Rendering courtesy of Royal Caribbean International)

Beginning May 2020, Allure of the Seas’ 7-night Western Mediterranean cruises sailing roundtrip from Barcelona will visit must-see cities such as Palma de Mallorca, Spain; Provence (Marseille), France; Florence/Pisa (La Spezia), Rome (Civitavecchia) and Naples/Capri, Italy.

Allure joins the original gamechanger, Oasis of the Seas, as the second Oasis Class ship to be reimagined in the $1 billion Royal Amplified fleet modernization program. These two revolutionary ships will steal the spotlight next year in Europe and the New York area, respectively, as the boldest summer vacations on both sides of the Atlantic.

In November 2020, Allure will make its way coast to coast to Miami for the winter season. Sailing from Royal Caribbean’s state-of-the-art Terminal A, the reimagined ship will offer 7-night Eastern and Western Caribbean cruises. Many of the ship’s Caribbean itineraries will include visits to the cruise line’s new private island destination in The Bahamas, Perfect Day at CocoCay.

About Royal Caribbean International

Royal Caribbean International has been delivering innovation at sea for more than 50 years. Each successive class of ships is an architectural marvel featuring the latest technology and guest experiences for today’s adventurous traveler. The cruise line continues to revolutionize vacations with itineraries to more than 270 destinations in 72 countries on six continents, including Royal Caribbean’s highly anticipated private island in The Bahamas, Perfect Day at CocoCay, the first in the Perfect Day Island Collection. Royal Caribbean has also been voted “Best Cruise Line Overall” for 16 consecutive years in the Travel Weekly Readers’ Choice Awards.

Royal Caribbean’s Voyager of the Seas announces significant upgrades

June 26, 2019

Voyager of the Seas
Voyager of the Seas (Rendering courtesy of Royal Caribbean International)

The following is a press release from Royal Caribbean International:

Adventures in the South Pacific will take on a whole new meaning with the highly anticipated arrival of a bolder-than-ever Voyager of the Seas this fall. Royal Caribbean International has revealed a $97 million new look with a lineup of first-to-market features for the region’s debut amplified ship. From The Perfect Storm duo of racer waterslides to the reinvigorated Vitality Spa and redesigned kids and teens spaces, Voyager will tout a thrilling combination of experiences that make for an unforgettable family vacation to far-flung destinations on the other side of the world. Beginning Oct. 21, the newly transformed ship will set sail on a series of 3- to 5-night Southeast Asia itineraries from Singapore, followed by a season down under with 9- to 12-night South Pacific cruises from Sydney, Australia, starting on Nov. 30.

Deck-Defying Thrills
On Voyager of the Seas, vacationers can dial up the adventure with newly added Royal Caribbean hits never before seen in the South Pacific.

The Perfect Storm waterslides duo – Typhoon and Cyclone – will raise the stakes with three stories of heart-pumping twists and turns. This is the ultimate ride where guests can challenge their limits and each other in a highspeed race for bragging rights. The can’t-miss attraction joins returning favorites, including the FlowRider surf simulator, rock-climbing wall and mini-golf, to round out the ship’s action-packed aft.

Voyager of the Seas (Rendering courtesy of Royal Caribbean International)

Family Time Maximized
The cruise line’s amped-up getaways also introduce new and reimagined experiences for the whole family to spend time together and on their own while on board.

Making its out-of-this-world debut on Voyager of the Seas, Battle for Planet Z laser tag has quickly become a staple on Royal Caribbean ships. The glow-in-the-dark adventure in Studio B takes place in a universe of the distant future as two groups of thrill seekers – aliens and robots – go head to head to claim the last planet of a far-flung galaxy.

Younger guests, ranging from babies to teens, will enjoy a top-to-bottom redesign of their dedicated spaces. A fresh take on the award-winning Adventure Ocean, for kids of 3 to 12 years old, brings a modern, free-play approach to a new, open layout with whimsical activities at every corner. A first on Voyager, a nursery for babies and tots will open its doors, while 3- to 5-year-olds can dive into the excitement in an area created just for them. Teens are in for an exclusive, updated hangout like no other on board, along with the addition of a laidback outdoor deck.

Relaxation Renewed

Voyager of the Seas Vitality Spa and Fitness Center (Rendering courtesy of Royal Caribbean International)

Vacationers looking to relax and recharge are in for a treat at the Vitality Spa and Fitness Center. Enhanced and relocated to the aft of the ship, the spa and gym will offer its extensive, signature menu of services, including massages, acupuncture, manicures, fitness classes and personal training. Guests who opt to cool down poolside can look forward to a refreshed Solarium for all-day, adults-only tranquil vibes.

More highlights to make their way to Voyager include 72 new inside and balcony staterooms, a Suite Lounge and outdoor area – exclusively for guests in Grand Suites and above; and the Diamond Lounge for members of Royal Caribbean’s Crown & Anchor Society loyalty program. The reimagined ship will also feature the new Royal Caribbean International mobile app. Travelers can soon check in for their cruise vacation from their phone, and once on board, the app will deliver an array of capabilities. From exploring and planning activities for each day of the itinerary, and viewing onboard expenses, to booking and managing dining, shore excursion and show reservations, guests will be able to seamlessly transition into vacation mode.

Voyager will be the fourth ship reimagined as part of the Royal Amplified fleet modernization effort built on research and guest feedback. The cruise line’s investment of more than $1 billion spans 10 ships in four years and touches every facet of the guest experience. Introducing a robust variety of bold adventures meant to appeal to every generation, the program is a representation of Royal Caribbean’s passion for innovation, relentless attention to detail and commitment to delivering unforgettable vacations.

About Royal Caribbean International
Royal Caribbean International has been delivering innovation at sea for more than 50 years. Each successive class of ships is an architectural marvel featuring the latest technology and guest experiences for today’s adventurous traveler. The cruise line continues to revolutionize vacations with itineraries to more than 270 destinations in 72 countries on six continents, including Royal Caribbean’s highly anticipated private island in The Bahamas, Perfect Day at CocoCay, the first in the Perfect Day Island Collection. Royal Caribbean has also been voted “Best Cruise Line Overall” for 16 consecutive years in the Travel Weekly Readers’ Choice Awards.

For additional information or to make reservations, vacationers can call their travel advisor; visit RoyalCaribbean.com; or call (800) ROYAL-CARIBBEAN.

Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Seas announces major improvements

May 21, 2019

The ship that revolutionized the cruise industry, Oasis of the Seas, marks its 10-year anniversary with a larger-than-ever, $165 million amplification. The first to introduce the unique seven-neighborhood concept and one-of-a-kind AquaTheater entertainment venue, Royal Caribbean International’s original gamechanger will set a new standard for family vacations with first-to-brand experiences and the latest Royal Caribbean hits. Guest favorites making their way to Oasis as part of the 63-day modernization include a reimagined, Caribbean-inspired pool deck that will feature a Splashaway Bay kids aquapark and The Lime & Coconut signature bar; famed Quantum Class staple, Music Hall; the Perfect Storm trio of waterslides, and the Ultimate Abyss – the tallest slide at sea. Debuting alongside this lineup is the cruise line’s first barbecue concept, Portside BBQ, and dedicated karaoke venue Spotlight Karaoke. The amplified Oasis will set sail on Nov. 24, 2019, beginning 7-night Eastern and Western Caribbean itineraries from Royal Caribbean’s new, state-of-the-art Terminal A in Miami.

The architectural marvel will break even more records when she heads to the Big Apple in May 2020 as the largest ship to sail from the New York area. Oasis will reposition to her new summer home at Cape Liberty in Bayonne, New Jersey, offering 7-night sailings to The Bahamas with visits to Royal Caribbean’s newly transformed private island destination, Perfect Day at CocoCay.

“When Oasis of the Seas debuted as the world’s largest and most groundbreaking cruise ship a decade ago, the typical cruise vacation as the world knew it was forever changed. Today, our Oasis Class ships continue to lead the industry and attract vacationers new to cruising,” said Michael Bayley, President and CEO, Royal Caribbean International. “Now with the opportunity to disrupt the industry once again, we’ve gone all-in with our biggest and boldest amplification yet. Oasis will turn heads when she arrives to Miami this November and the Northeast in May 2020.”

Iconic Top Deck
For all-day Caribbean vibes, guests need look no further than the reimagined Pool and Sports Zone. The transformed neighborhood will feature new ways to relax, celebrate and plunge into adventure, joining the popular twin FlowRider surf simulators, nine-deck-high zip line and twin rock-climbing walls.

The adrenaline is turned all the way up with heart-pumping additions, including the Ultimate Abyss, a 10-story test of courage and the tallest slide at sea; and The Perfect Storm, an action-packed trio of multistory waterslides known as Typhoon, Cyclone and Supercell. For the youngest, the most thrilling Splashaway Bay at sea yet is to come, with a Splash Pad for tots, three waterslides, water cannons, fountains, pools and the first-ever twin drench buckets.

At the center is the new Caribbean-style pool deck with The Lime & Coconut. The signature bar will be one of the liveliest spots on board, day and night, with poolside cocktails, DJs and live music across two locations. Every pool is only as good as its places to chill, and Oasis will deliver a larger variety of seating and shade, including comfy casitas, daybeds, hammocks and swing seats, new whirlpools on the top deck, and a refreshed Solarium for the adults.

Mouthwatering Dining
The boldest Royal Amplified modernization to-date will introduce various new dining venues that will further diversify Oasis’ 23 specialty and complimentary options.

Royal Caribbean’s latest culinary creation and first-ever barbecue restaurant, Portside BBQ, will offer an authentic, meat-packed menu inspired by the best-in-class barbecue across the United States. From smoked marbled brisket, pulled pork and chicken, to beef ribs and burnt ends, the casual eatery on the pool deck will tie it all together with classic sides – including mac and cheese, homestyle cornbread, baked beans and coleslaw – and down-home desserts such as the Banana Dream and a brownie cookie mashup.

Across the way, guests can find Mexican grab-and-go fare at El Loco Fresh, serving up made-to-order tacos and burritos, quesadillas, mini salads and salsas galore. Playmakers Sports Bar & Arcade will anchor the lineup in the signature Boardwalk neighborhood. With 80 big-screen TVs, tabletop games, arcade classics, tournaments, an Owner’s Box VIP room, bar fare and ice-cold brews, Playmakers is where everyone in the family wins. Sugar Beach, with more than 220 types of candy and a new walkup ice cream window, is the icing on the already-tasty offering on board Oasis, which includes Chops Grille, Giovanni’s Table and Izumi.

Chart-topping Hot Spots
Nights out will take on a whole new meaning on board the newly amplified Oasis. The new Spotlight Karaoke on the Royal Promenade is where budding singers can rock out to their favorite tunes at the dedicated karaoke venue’s main stage or one of two private rooms.

First introduced on Quantum of the Seas, live music venue Music Hall will make its Oasis Class debut. A roster of live cover bands, an expansive dance floor, pool tables and intimate loungers across two levels give vacationers ample room to end the night on a high note at a place where every seat is the best seat in the house.

Rounding out the list of go-to hot spots is the dynamic duo of robotic bartenders that will mix, muddle, stir and shake cocktails nonstop at the Bionic Bar. The new venues join nightlife favorites on board, including Boleros, Schooner Bar, Blaze Nightclub & Comedy and English pub Atlas & Globe.

Family Time Redefined
Oasis will, yet again, redefine family vacations with a bold combination of programming that brings families together while also providing ways for everyone – from parents, to kids and grandparents – to enjoy time on their own.

Babies, kids and teens are in for a reimagination of their dedicated spaces, enhanced from top to bottom and amplified with technology to offer interactive, personalized and unexpected experiences. Adventure Ocean will receive a total makeover, with newly designed areas organized by activity type and created to fully immerse kids and their families in the adventures they choose based on their interests. Returning offerings include a nursery for the youngest of travelers, and a specialized area with programming for kids 3 to 5 years old. Teens can rejoice in their more off-the-grid hangout. With exclusive features like a “hidden” entrance, gaming lounge, movies, music, and a new, laidback outdoor deck, teens are free to engage however and whenever without interruption.

Adding to the variety of activities, featuring ice skating and mini-golf, Oasis will challenge friends and foes with a new glow-in-the-dark laser tag game, Clash for the Crystal City. Two clans, the Yetis and Snowshifters, must go head-to-head to claim the crystal city and defeat impending extinction. At the new Royal Escape Room – Mission Control: Apollo 18, the year is 1973 and travelers must come together to launch Apollo 18 to the moon by solving every mind-bending puzzle before time runs out.

Oasis of the Seas is the first of the cruise line’s renowned Oasis Class – the world’s largest cruise ships – to be modernized as part of the Royal Amplified fleet modernization effort. Rooted in research and guest feedback, Royal Caribbean’s investment of more than $1 billion in the program spans 10 ships in four years and touches every facet of the guest experience to bring new thrills and signature experiences designed to appeal to every generation.

About Royal Caribbean International
Royal Caribbean International has been delivering innovation at sea for more than 50 years. Each successive class of ships is an architectural marvel featuring the latest technology and guest experiences for today’s adventurous traveler. The cruise line continues to revolutionize vacations with itineraries to more than 270 destinations in 73 countries on six continents, including Royal Caribbean’s highly anticipated private island in The Bahamas, Perfect Day at CocoCay, the first in the Perfect Day Island Collection. Royal Caribbean has also been voted “Best Cruise Line Overall” for 16 consecutive years in the Travel Weekly Readers’ Choice Awards.

For additional information or to make reservations, vacationers can call their travel advisor; visit RoyalCaribbean.com; or call (800) ROYAL-CARIBBEAN.

Celebrity Cruises’ Celebrity Edge makes first transatlantic crossing

November 18, 2018

Celebrity Edge (Photo courtesy of Celebrity Cruises)

The following is a press release from Celebrity Cruises:

The game-changing Celebrity Edge has officially arrived at the new home of modern luxury – Port Everglades’ Terminal 25 (T25) in Hollywood, Fla. – following the ship’s first-ever, 15-day transatlantic crossing.

Chairman and CEO of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd., Richard D. Fain, said: “The arrival of Celebrity Edge today book-ends a major chapter in the growth of Celebrity Cruises. It’s the culmination of years of dreaming, designing and dedication to bring this magnificent ship to life. A new era is truly upon us.”

Viewing this momentous occasion from the bridge of Celebrity Edge with Fain, President and CEO of Celebrity Cruises, Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, added: “The completion of her first-ever transatlantic crossing and arrival at T25 marks such a historic moment for Celebrity Cruises. This has been more than four years in the making. The collaboration and effort between teams across the world all comes together in this incredible moment. I can think of no better place to be than with Captain Costas and the crew of Celebrity Edge knowing that we are sailing into the future, literally and figuratively, with this beautiful ship.”

Adorning the decks as Celebrity Edge entered the channel for the first time, more than 1,400 excited crew members waved to a sea of shoreside colleagues who gathered to welcome the ship and her crew to their new home at an exclusive welcome event hosted at the Nova Southeastern University Oceanographic Center — a fitting debut for Celebrity’s first new ship in six years and the first of a new class in more than a decade.

After the arrival of Celebrity Edge at T25, Lutoff-Perlo and Fain then hosted a grand opening ceremony in the revolutionary new terminal. Attended by key brand executives and esteemed Broward County and City of Hollywood officials, the dramatic ribbon-cutting ceremony marked the official grand opening of the first terminal designed exclusively for the Celebrity brand, dubbed the new home of modern luxury.

Brought to life in collaboration with Broward County’s Port Everglades, Bermello Ajamil & Partners, Inc. and Moss Construction, T25 melds a stunning, warmly inviting design with unique technology, such as Expedited Arrival, which will make the check-in process absolutely seamless, as well as an interactive light wall art installation. T25 will also offer The Retreat guests a singular experience along the path to The Retreat, with an exclusive lounge, elevator lobbies, screening areas and even a private rooftop terrace.

Celebrity Edge embarked on the more-than 4,000-mile transatlantic voyage from the Chantiers de l’Atlantique shipyard in Saint-Nazaire, France, on November 4, 2018, with more than 1,400 crew members on board. Along the way, the cutting-edge new ship visited ports in both Azores, Portugal, and Freeport, Bahamas.

Celebrity Edge begins her inaugural season sailing alternating seven-night eastern and western Caribbean cruise itineraries, with her Maiden Western Caribbean voyage departing on December 9, 2018, and her Maiden Eastern Caribbean voyage departing on December 16, 2018. Then, in spring of 2019, Celebrity Edge crosses the Atlantic again to offer guests stunning vistas of the Mediterranean with a range of seven- to 11-night sailings visiting iconic cities, including Barcelona and Rome.

Bookings for Celebrity Edge are now open at www.celebritycruises.com/edge or through a travel advisor. Celebrity Edge will be joined by her sister ship, Celebrity Apex, in 2020, and two additional ships in the Edge Series will follow in 2021 and 2022.

Celebrity Cruises’ Celebrity Flora debuts glamping experience

November 8, 2018

Celebrity Flora
Celebrity Flora (Images courtesy of Celebrity Cruises)

The following is a press release from Celebrity Cruises:

The first ship ever designed exclusively for the Galapagos Islands, Celebrity Flora, just introduced another enticing industry first: A once-in-a-lifetime camping experience on the top deck of the luxury yacht that allows guests to dine, drink, and, yes, even sleep under one of the most spectacular night skies in the world.

Celebrity Flora was specifically designed to bring our guests closer to the Galapagos Islands than ever before – from its outward-facing design that takes guests to the water’s edge, to the enhanced custom-designed Novurania yacht tenders,” said Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, President and CEO, Celebrity Cruises. “And now our new Galapagos Glamping experience gives guests an incredible opportunity to experience the destination the ship was built for, on a whole new level, under the millions of stars above.”

TREATED LIKE STARS—UNDER THE STARS
Four star-struck guests per night will be able to book the top deck onboard experience and participate in this one-night-only adventure. The reservations include two luxuriously inviting cabanas, one fitted with a double bed for sleeping, and the other for enjoying a mouthwatering, alfresco meal. Galapagos Glamping was created to break down the walls and bring guests closer than ever to this stunning destination. To help guests fully appreciate the breathtaking views this experience offers, a naturalist will also be available to highlight the stars and constellations visible from this region of the world directly from the cabana seats.

NEW VIEWS AND NEW FLAVORS
Exclusive campfire-inspired culinary delights – from cocktails to carefully selected wines to s’mores – will be specially curated for the evening, while guests gaze at the endless open skies above. Guests will have a delicious dinner served exclusively as part of the Galapagos Glamping experience. Campers will also welcome the spectacular sunrise with a full bed-side breakfast.

Modern luxury exploration in the Galapagos Islands will never be the same once Celebrity Florabegins her inaugural season, sailing alternating 10- and 11-night tours, there is also the option for guests to select a 16-night itinerary— an inner loop and outer loop — to the region’s most stunning locales in 2019 and 2020.

Based in Baltra Island in the Galapagos, Celebrity Flora will make her debut sailing on May 26, 2019. Bookings are now open at www.celebritycruises.com/flora, or through a travel advisor. The exclusive Galapagos Glamping experience will be available upon request for a fee, on every Celebrity Flora sailing, subject to availability.

To learn more about the brand’s unrivaled offerings, or its industry-leading stewardship and conservation efforts in the region, visit www.celebrity.com/galapagos.

About Celebrity Cruises:
Celebrity Cruises’ iconic “X” is the mark of modern luxury, with its cool, contemporary design and warm spaces; dining experiences where the design of the venues is as important as the cuisine; and the amazing service that only Celebrity can provide, all created to provide an unmatchable experience for vacationers’ precious time. Celebrity Cruises’ 12 ships offer modern luxury vacations visiting all seven continents. Celebrity also presents incredible cruise tour experiences in Alaska and Canada. Celebrity is one of five cruise brands operated by global cruise vacation company Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (NYSE: RCL). For more information, dial 1-800-437-3111, visit www.celebritycruises.com, or call your travel agent.

Princess Cruises debuts curated culinary experiences with new Bon Appétit partnership

March 15, 2018

(Photo courtesy of Princess Cruises)
(Photo courtesy of Princess Cruises)

The following is a press release from Princess Cruises:

Princess Cruises announced a new culinary shore excursion program in collaboration with the number one food lifestyle brand, Bon Appétit, offering guests the opportunity to indulge in culinary experiences inspired by their surroundings while cruising to destinations around the globe.

Through this new partnership, Princess guests will receive a deepened understanding of the destinations visited through a small group, sensory journey of authentic culinary experiences drawing from the life of locals. The shore excursion offerings will immerse explorers in local ingredients and cooking styles, as well as demonstrations and tastings from local chefs and personalities, all with the goal of providing travelers a sense of renewed wonder and an opportunity for immersive destination exploration.

“As a leader in culinary excellence at sea, we seek to offer our guests hands-on, immersive culinary journeys from the destinations we visit,” said Bruce Krumrine, vice president, global shore excursions, Princess Cruises. “From scone making in the countryside of Ireland, to crafting the perfect paella on the knotted streets of medieval Spain, these newly developed experiences are sure to bring the spirit of these destinations to life for our guests.”

Guests can choose from a selection of curated tours developed in partnership with Bon Appétit, hand selected to best demonstrate the brand’s focus of “where food and culture meet.”

  • Exclusive Tours connect travelers to the tastes of the region with Exclusive Tours available only through Princess and Bon Appétit. These tailored excursions offer unparalleled opportunities to truly engage with local life in a small-group setting.
  • Recommended Tours bring the character of the places guests sail to their plate. Participants of these tours will embark on a celebration of gastronomy endorsed by the experts at Bon Appétit.

“There is a clear connection between the love of travel and experiencing food found in cultures around the world,” said Adam Rapoport, editor in chief of Bon Appétit. “Collaborating with a destination leader like Princess Cruises, we’re able to bring the passion of culinary inspired journeys to guests we might not otherwise reach.”

Guests will be able to choose from 30 excursions beginning in 2018. Highlights include:

Bon Appétit Exclusive Tours
Taste of the North – Kristiansand, Norway
Classic Norwegian flavors are made modern by the head chef at Hotel Norge. Savor Norway’s history with moose steak, traditional cookies and regional wine. Then, nourish the moment over a shared lunch with fellow travelers on a tour that visits local stops of note.

Scones from Scratch – Dublin, Ireland
On this excursion, guests will journey to Ireland’s charming countryside for a cozy afternoon of scone making. Participants will learn to prepare these delicate golden treats from Catherine Fulivio*, the acclaimed chef and proprietor of Ballyknocken Cookery School, House and Restaurant. Following the lesson, guests can enjoy their creations amid the charm of a Victorian farmhouse and end the day strolling its sprawling gardens.

*subject to availability

Bon Appétit Recommended Tours
Classic CopenhagenCopenhagen, Denmark
Wind the way through Copenhagen’s reveled sights and flavors in a scenic afternoon adventure. Guests will fuel their appetites at Ferry Café with Smørrebrød, a classic, open-faced sandwich, then sightsee historic Danish palaces and castles. Stepping aboard a modern canal boat, travelers will get a chance to experience 500-year-old step-gabled homes from a new perspective, and end the day with new thrills during a visit to Tivoli Gardens, a famous theme park bursting with color.

Pacific Northwest Pairings – Astoria, Oregon
Savor a pairing the Pacific Northwest has made famous at the locally-loved restaurant, Baked Alaska. Famed for his dishes and storytelling, Chef Chris Holen will gather guests in an open kitchen where they will learn how to bring creativity to seafood dishes while sipping local wines and journeying into Astoria’s past and present.

From Mate to Malbec – Buenos Aires, Argentina
Visit Argentina’s stunning urban hub of Buenos Aires to learn the timeless tradition of empanada making. Once comfortable in the kitchen, participants will taste classic dishes like grilled provoleta cheese, sliced chorizo and steak accompanied by a glass of local Malbec wine. The excursion culminates with the opportunity for guests to make their own mate and dessert, ending the day on a sweet note.

Juneau Foodie Walking Tour – Juneau, Alaska
Travelers to the Great Land will explore their way through Juneau’s most renowned flavors during a walking tour to some of the town’s best restaurants. From award-winning crab bisque, famous fish tacos and smoked pork to tasting local Alaska beer and wine, guests will venture through the Gold Rush town on a culinary journey and stroll through downtown Juneau.

The Perfect Paella – Valencia, Spain
Soak in Valencia’s iconic sights like historic landmarks, green spaces and cathedrals, followed by a savory meal featuring one of its most iconic dishes: paella. Guided by a local chef, guests will study the preparation that brings this saffron-seasoned rice dish to plate.

Roots of RussiaSt. Petersburg, Russia
Indulge in a lesson in Russia’s past by making the classic staple of meat pies called “pelmini” at a local restaurant. Participants will pair their creation with 80-proof vodka, a storied spirit that has evolved over 500 years of history.

More information on the new Bon Appétit shore excursions can be found here.

Additional information about Princess Cruises is available through a professional travel agent, by calling 1-800-PRINCESS (1-800-774-6237), or by visiting the company’s website at princess.com.

About Bon Appétit:
Bon Appétit is where food and culture meet. The award-winning No. 1 food lifestyle brand covers food through the lens of cooking, fashion, travel, technology, design, and home. Bon Appétit has been named to Advertising Age’s A-List for six consecutive years, including Magazine of the Year 2013 and 2017, and Brand of the Year 2015, and has been named to Adweek’s Hot List every year since 2012, including Hottest Food Magazine in 2013 and 2017. Bon Appétit has also been nominated for 23 National Magazine Awards in the past five years, including wins in 2014 for General Excellence and Photography, and in 2017 for General Excellence.

About Princess Cruises:
One of the best-known names in cruising, Princess Cruises is a global cruise line and tour company operating a fleet of 17 modern cruise ships renowned for their innovative design and wide array of choices in dining, entertainment and amenities, all provided with the experience of exceptional customer service. As the world’s largest international premium cruise brand, Princess carries two million guests each year to more than 360 destinations around the globe on more than 150 itineraries ranging in length from three to 114 days. The company is part of Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE/LSE: CCL; NYSE: CUK).

Travel + Leisure reveals results of 2017 World’s Best survey

July 11, 2017

Travel + Leisure has revealed the results of its 2017 World’s Best survey, as voted for by the magazine’s readers.

World’s Top Cities

1. San Miguel de Allende, Mexico

2. Charleston, South Carolina

3. Chiang Mai, Thailand

4. Kyoto, Japan

5. Florence, Italy

6. Oaxaca, Mexico

7. Hoi An, Vietnam

8. Cape Town, South Africa

9. Ubud, Indonesia

10. Luang Prabang, Laos

11. Santa Fe, New Mexico

12. Rome, Italy

13. Siem Reap, Cambodia

14. Udaipur, India

15. Barcelona, Spain

World’s Top Islands

1. Palawan, Philippines

2. Hilton Head Island, South Carolina

3. Boracay Island, Philippines

4. Galápagos Islands, Ecuador

5. Santorini, Greece

6. Maui, Hawaii

7. Kauai, Hawaii

8. Ischia, Italy

9. Hvar and the Dalmatian Islands, Croatia

10. Bali, Indonesia

World’s Best Hotels

1. Nihi Sumba Island (formerly Nihiwatu), Indonesia

2. The Brando, Tetiaroa, French Polynesia

3. Lodge & Spa at Brush Creek Ranch, Saratoga, Wyoming

4. Lodge at Kauri Cliffs, Matauri Bay, New Zealand

5. Gibb’s Farm, Karatu, Tanzania

6. Tswalu Kalahari, Tswalu Kalahari Reserve, South Africa

7. Triple Creek Ranch, Darby, Montana

8. Cavas Wine Lodge, Mendoza, Argentina

9. Inn at Willow Grove, Orange, Virginia

10. (tie) Rosewood CordeValle, San Martin, California

10. (tie) Zarafa Camp, Selinda Reserve, Botswana

Best International Airports

1. Singapore Changi (SIN)

2. Hamad International, Doha, Qatar (DOH)

3. Dubai International (DXB)

4. Incheon International, South Korea (ICN)

5. Hong Kong International (HKG)

6. Zurich, Switzerland (ZRH)

7. Haneda (Tokyo International) (HND)

8. Ben Gurion International, Tel Aviv (TLV)

9. Abu Dhabi International (AUH)

10. Amsterdam Airport Schiphol (AMS)

Best Domestic Airports

1. Portland International, Oregon (PDX)

2. Indianapolis International (IND)

3. Tampa International, Florida (TPA)

4. John Wayne Airport, Orange County, California (SNA)

5. Austin-Bergstrom International, Texas (AUS)

6. Pittsburgh International, Pennsylvania (PIT)

7. Minneapolis – St. Paul International (MSP)

8. Savannah-Hilton Head International, Georgia (SAV)

9. Palm Beach International, Florida (PBI)

10. Dallas Love Field (DAL)

Top International Airlines

1. Singapore Airlines

2. Emirates

3. Qatar Airways

4. Cathay Pacific Airways

5. Japan Airlines (JAL)

6. Virgin Atlantic

7. Air New Zealand

8. Korean Air

9. All Nippon Airways (ANA)

10. Eva Air

Top Domestic Airlines

1. Virgin America

2. JetBlue Airways

3. Alaska Airlines

4. Hawaiian Airlines

5. Southwest Airlines

World’s Best Car Rental Agencies

1. National Car Rental

2. Enterprise Rent-A-Car

3. Hertz

4. Avis Car Rental

5. Alamo

Top Mega-ship Ocean Cruise Lines

1. Cunard

2. Disney Cruise Line

3. Princess Cruises

4. Celebrity Cruises

5. Holland America Line

6. Royal Caribbean International

7. Carnival Cruise Line

8. Norwegian Cruise Line

9. MSC Cruises

10. Costa Cruises

Top Large-ship Ocean Cruise Lines

1. Viking Cruises

2. Crystal Cruises

3. Regent Seven Seas Cruises

4. Cunard

5. Oceania Cruises

6. Azamara Club Cruises

7. Princess Cruises

8. Costa Cruises

9. Celebrity Cruises

10. Holland America Line

Top Midsized-ship Ocean Cruise Lines

1. Paul Gauguin Cruises

2. Seabourn

3. Windstar Cruises

4. Regent Seven Seas Cruises

5. Silversea

Top Small-ship Ocean Cruise Lines

1. Crystal Yacht Expedition Cruises

2. Ecoventura

3. Australis

4. Lindblad Expeditions

5. SeaDream Yacht Club

Top River Cruise Lines

1. Crystal River Cruises

2. Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection

3. Viking Cruises

4. Aqua Expeditions

5. Tauck

Princess Cruises offers savings to additional travel guests for Caribbean sailings

July 6, 2017

(Photo courtesy of Princess Cruises)
(Photo courtesy of Princess Cruises)

The following is a press release from Princess Cruises:

Princess Cruises today announced a special offer for third and fourth guests to make it easy to bring family and friends onboard. For all Ocean Medallion Caribbean cruises on Regal Princess® and Royal Princess®, sailing November 2017April 2018, Princess is offering a special $99 price for third and fourth passengers.*

Princess offers a wide range of comfortable accommodations for families or groups traveling together. There is room for up to four guests in all types of staterooms — interior, balcony and mini-suites, many with interconnecting options – and each guest can enjoy the ultimate sleep at sea in the Princess Luxury Bed. Developed in collaboration with board-certified sleep expert Dr. Michael Breus and renowned HGTV designer Candice Olson, the bed combines the science of sleep with the pinnacle of design.

New Interactive Games & Family-Friendly Offerings

For game lovers on these Ocean Medallion Class Ships™, the following interactive games will be available.

  • Tagalong Sprint pits guests’ digital companions in a fast and fun race across the ocean floor. Guests will see who can speed across the finish line first in this rhythm-based group game.
  • This or That is an engaging, light-hearted and addictive experience that can be enjoyed by groups of all sizes. Guests will be presented with two opposing choices and vote on which to choose. Choices range from the absurd (“Pet a dinosaur or ride a shark?”) to the more on-topic (“Parasail or kayak?”), and the vote results will be displayed for all to see.

At the newly launched Camp Discovery youth center – created in partnership with Discovery Consumer Products, the licensing arm of Discovery Communications — Princess offers a wide selection of programs and activities where kids and teens will make memories and create keepsakes while sailing on the Caribbean-bound Regal Princess and Royal Princess.

As part of the cruise line’s Discovery at Sea program, there are three center themes where kids and teens can make new friends and participate in activities specially designed to help them Discover, Play, Create and Huddle, including

  • The Treehouse, ages 3-7 (formerly Pelicans): A bright, whimsical forest and animal-themed center including captivating creatures and hands-on activities for kids to focus on play time, creativity and the world around them.
  • The Lodge, ages 8-12 (formerly Shockwaves): Inspired by the great outdoors, this cozy center is filled with sports activities and fun places for kids to explore, hang out and lounge.
  • The Beach House, for ages 13-17 (formerly Remix): Offers a contemporary surf-themed lounge, featuring a cool place for teens to hang out and socialize.

New youth and teen center programming includes MythBusters science activities with new hands-on challenges, featuring show star Tory Belleci. In addition, new Camp Discovery offers destination-themed programs focusing on the Caribbean to immerse young cruisers into the culture, nature and customs of this region.

Families will also enjoy lively concerts, sporting events and hit blockbuster films at Movies Under the Stars, a giant 300-square foot poolside movie theater. Princess makes this experience even more special with personal touches including comfortable chaise lounges and cozy blankets in the evening.

More information about O·C·E·A·N is available at ocean.com

For additional information on Ocean Medallion vacations on Princess Cruises, please visit www.Princess.Com/Ocean.

Additional information about Princess Cruises is available through a professional travel agent, by calling 1-800-PRINCESS or by visiting the company’s website at princess.com.

*Offer valid on interior, balcony and mini suite cabins on seven-day cruises. Excludes holiday cruises. Third and fourth guests for 10-day cruises start from $199.

Crystal River Cruises unveils new culinary offerings for Crystal Bach ship

July 5, 2017

Crystal River Cruises
Waterside, a restaurant on Crystal Bach (Rendering courtesy of Crystal River Cruises)

The following is a press release from Crystal River Cruises:

Crystal River Cruises, the World’s Most Luxurious River Cruise Line, has unveiled detailed highlights of the culinary concepts and offerings to be featured aboard Crystal Bach, the first of the company’s “Rhine Class” river yachts, debuting in August. Sailing routes along the Rhine, Danube and Main Rivers, the all-balcony, all-suite vessel will offer sophisticated menus of cuisine inspired by the region, artfully crafted by a team of expert European chefs. And while the specialties themselves will be creatively designed specifically for Crystal Bach’s stunning itineraries, the philosophy of culinary excellence remains rooted in Crystal’s commitment to using the freshest ingredients sourced from local suppliers and serving dishes that authentically represent the destinations visited.

“As the first ‘Rhine Class’ river yacht, Crystal Bach will introduce a new standard of luxury in river cruising on many fronts, including the culinary concept and innovative experiences found on board,” says Edie Rodriguez, CEO and president of Crystal. “While we are always pursuing new and distinctive experiences on each of our luxury vessels, our overall dedication to unsurpassed quality and abundant choices remains constant.”

Guests will dine on fresh fish and seafood from Holland, seasonal fruits and vegetables from Germany and the Netherlands, meat and poultry from farmers in Bavaria and the Austrian Alps, along with wine, beer and cheese specific to the region. Uniquely European delicacies will also be featured on the expansive menus, including sturgeon caviar from Eindhoven and river crawfish from the Rhine. Additionally, as aboard Crystal’s first luxury river ship, Crystal Mozart, coffees and teas by Julius Meinl, a prestigious Vienna-based company who has crafted the beverages since 1862, will be served on Crystal Bach.

Crystal chefs will create dishes that have been favored by local people and nobility for centuries, as well as some options that boast a modern twist on the classics. From the elegant Waterside Restaurant – the main dining room aboard Crystal River vessels – to the relaxed Bistro Café and exclusive Vintage Room, guests will find farm-to-table, Michelin-inspired cuisine that complements the cultural discoveries of their journey.

Dutch herring on dill mousse and German green split pea soup with smoked duck join other European delicacies like Dornfelder braised oxtail ragout and Boeuf Bourguignonne. Mouthwatering dishes such as truffle spring chicken cassoulet “En Croute,” broiled dover sole “Meuniere” and cold-water lobster served with a creamy leek risotto are also among the culinary palate pleasers.

A brand new dedicated selection of vegetarian dishes will also be offered aboard Crystal Bach, which will offer the same fresh and authentic approach as the overall menu.

“The culinary experience aboard all Crystal vessels is meant to inspire travelers to discover more about the world they explore, as food and the camaraderie of dining is such an integral part of the travel experience,” says Toni Neumeister, senior vice president of hotel operations. “Guests aboard Crystal Bach will not only enjoy extraordinary new and classic flavors, but also a taste of the history and culture of this beautiful region.”

In addition to the inspired cuisine served on board the luxury river yacht, guests can indulge in exclusive dining experiences at Michelin star-awarded restaurants in select destinations. Each 2017 itinerary will feature at least one opportunity to indulge in signature fare of renowned eateries ashore, the first of which will be complementary.

The vessels will be the river cruising industry’s first all-balcony, all-suite designs boasting every category of accommodation perched above the waterline. Every suite will offer Crystal’s acclaimed butler service in every room category, plush king-sized beds that face toward the Panoramic Balcony-Windows, walk-in closets and dual vanity in the bathrooms in most categories, ETRO robes and slippers, wall-mounted flat-screen HD TVs, and Nespresso machines.

By sea, river, land and air, Crystal has redefined the way the world views luxury travel. Crystal Cruises is the World’s Most Awarded Luxury Cruise Line, having earned “World’s Best Cruise Ship” in Condé Nast Traveler’s Reader Choice Awards for 23 years; been voted “World’s Best Large Ship Cruise Line” by Travel + Leisure readers for 20 years; and the “Best Luxury Cruise Line” by travel professional organization Virtuoso for three consecutive years (2014, 2015 & 2016).  The newest and upcoming extensions of the celebrated Crystal brand include Crystal Yacht Expedition Cruises, Crystal Luxury Air, Crystal River Cruises – The World’s Most Luxurious River Cruise Line – Crystal AirCruises and Crystal Exclusive Class with Crystal Residences. Crystal is proud to be a platinum partner of the professionals of ASTA.